While I love the topic that has been chosen for this week's Monday Listicles – I am finding it hard to think of summer memories when the weather is so gray and dreary outside.
I do love a challenge though…so here goes:
- Wading Pools & Freezees – when I was about 11 we lived near big park that had a wading pool. My friends and I were still young enough to get away with hanging out there and did so through much of the summer. And we always stopped at Wong’s market to pick up a giant freezie first. I preferred white or grape and can still remember how cold they were in my hands and the pain when I managed to cut the inside of my mouth on an improperly cut top.
- Whatcom Meadows – for much of my early childhood my aunt and uncle had a trailer in a private park a few hours from our house. I have incredibly vivid memories of my summers spent there – roasting marshmallows on the campfire, piling 15 of us into the back of a pick up to drive to the lake, walking to the corner store for candy and the time there was bear at the playground. There are even memories from our time there that aren’t mine – like the time I was 3 and my mum turned away for a second and when she turned back I was floating face down in the kiddie pool. Terrified she ran over and lifted me up out of the water in a panic. Turned out I was ‘just looking’. Holy crap…I still owe my mum for that one.
- Summer Camp – I like to read a lot and always have and sometimes I think it’s possible that I have memories that are not my own but are actually from a book. Case in point – I know that I went to summer camp several times. Camp Howdy where we slept in cabins and learned how to canoe. But I also was certain I had once been to a horse camp. I could remember riding the horses…remember the other girls in my cabin. So I was shocked when my mum told me I had never been to such a camp. that it was all in my imagination. Totally shocked. (Although the barn fire might have been a clue…nothing that exciting ever happens in real life.)
|Camp Howdy recently closed down. And will be used as the set for some summer slasher movie soon. Seriously...those cabins are damn creepy!|
- Flip Flops – this isn’t so much a specific memory but a ‘feeling’. I know its summer (or at least close to summer) when I venture out of the house in flip flops. It’s the feeling of anticipation…
|It's the most wonderful time of the year...|
- Fireworks – every year we have the Celebration of Lights over 4 nights in the summer. My memories of attending this event go back more than 20 years. Most times we wouldn’t brave the large crowds at English Bay and would watch from a beach further away. But one year when I was about 12 or 13 we braved it. We had amazing seats and it was fantastic to be so close. It also took us about 4 hours to get out of the parking lot once the event was over. Just enough time for me to learn how to say 5,555,555 in Italian – and I can still say it to this day.
- Cultus Lake – there have been so many summertime trips to this lake just outside Vancouver I couldn’t possibly recount them all. There are many memories – mini golf, ice creams, bbq’s on the deck, walks along the lake, waterskiing and jumping into a freezing cold late at midnight. Sadly the cost of homes at Cultus have skyrocketed and there are no longer rental properties left on the lakefront. The cabins from my childhood – hello Kenerie’s Kathal – have been replaced with million dollar homes. Everything changes…
|My youngest on her first trip to Cultus. She already knew it was awesome.|
- Road Trips - is there anything better than loading up your car and hitting the road? I have done it as a kid and with friends and as a couple and now as a family. The destinations change – Portland, California, Calgary, Kelowna – but the feeling stays the same. Freedom.
- Birthdays – my birthday is in August. And this has its good and bad points. Good – weather that cooperates for outdoor parties. Bad – all my friends are away so no one to come to my party. Good – shared my birthday with an older cousin so the family always made sure to get everyone together. Bad – sharing a birthday cake.
|We get cupcakes now...2 different versions.|
- Camping – hubby and I have been together for 17 years now (holy crap!) and before we had kids we liked to pack up the car and head out to camp. He is a seasoned vet having spent most of his summers as a kid camping. I am not. One of my most vivid camping memories is of the time I tried to help my dear, patient hubby with parking the trailer. We had arrived later than we hoped and it was already dark. Our campsite was on a slight incline and had drop-offs all around it. I tried to help…I really did. But I didn’t know that if you wanted something to go left you needed to point right. We were ‘this close’ to disaster but hubby managed to save the day. And I never offered to help again.
|I still have no idea how we fit those huge chairs in our little car. But damn they made camping more comfortable!|
- Extended Evenings – those few lovely extra hours of sunlight that hold so much promise. For me – one of the greatest joys is to be able put the kids to bed and head out onto the back deck with hubby and a beverage of choice. I love the peacefulness and the view of the sun trickling through the trees.
|Last night on our back deck. A sliver of sunlight to remind us of what is to come.|
Only 17 more sleeps until Summer…